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Keeper

Published Date: 16th January 2018

Available in

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EBook
9781912374069
£5.99
15 February 2018
Paperback
9781912374052
£8.99
28 April 2018
Audiobook
Coming Soon

Description

Whitechapel, 1888: London is bowed under Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror.

London 2015: actress Julianne Bell is abducted in a case similar to the terrible Tower Hamlets murders of some ten years earlier, and harking back to the Ripper killings of a century before.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015: a woman’s body is found mutilated in a forest, her wounds identical to those of the Tower Hamlets victims. With the man arrested for the Tower Hamlets crimes already locked up, do the new killings mean he has a dangerous accomplice, or is a copy-cat serial killer on the loose?

Profiler Emily Roy and true-crime writer Alexis Castells again find themselves drawn into an intriguing case, with personal links that turn their world upside down. Following the highly acclaimed

Block 46 and guaranteed to disturb and enthral, Keeper is a breathless thriller from the new queen of French Noir.

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‘Gustawsson’s writing is so vivid, it’s electrifying.  Utterly compelling’ Peter James

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‘I’ll be raving about Keeper just as much as I raved about Block 46 last year. And I already expect this to be one of my top reads of 2018’ Off-the-Shelf Books

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‘Thought-provoking, challenging, and an absolute knock-out … I’m still in shock’ LoveReading

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‘No matter how many times you think you’ve sussed it out, Gustawsson will render you completely speechless’ The Quiet Knitter

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‘A great addition to the world of noir novels, and lives alongside the best…’ TripFiction

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‘A bold and intelligent read’ Laura Wilson, Guardian

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‘The grim detection is carried out by two strong women. Emily Roy is a profiler, lent to Scotland Yard by the Canadian Mounties; her friend Alexis Castells is a French writer of true-crime. They make a terrific, original duo. They have a future’ Marcel Berlins, The Times

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 ‘Cleverly plotted, simply excellent…’ Ragnar Jónasson

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‘A real page-turner … I loved it!’ Martina Cole

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‘Compelling’ Women’s Own

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 ‘A great serial-killer thriller with a nice twist … first rate’ James Oswald

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‘Dark, oppressive and bloody but it’s also thought-provoking, compelling and very moving’ Metro

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‘A bold and audacious debut from a very talented writer. Heralds the beginning of a thrilling new series’ R J Ellory

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‘Viscerally brutal yet delicately beautiful, like blood spatter on fresh snow. An unbelievable debut’ Matt Wesolowski

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‘Gripping … utterly mesmerising’ Thomas Enger

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‘Gustawsson doesn’t shy away from anything; she’ll take you where other crime writers might not dare wander, vividly and accurately describing the most brutal of crimes, taking you inside the heads (and hearts) of those on both sides of the investigation, and all this conjured up with the most beautiful prose. The ending left me pacing the house. That’s all I’ll say. Read it’ Louise Beech

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‘Gritty, bone-chilling, and harrowing – it’s not for the faint of heart, and not to be missed’ Crime by the Book

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Told in two time frames, Keeper by Johana Gustawsson unravels a murderous tale from the reign of Jack the Ripper to a copycat killer at large in the modern day. It’s out on Monday. Keeper was selected as a MUST READ in the Daily Express Saturday Magazine

Author

Born in 1978 in Marseille and with a degree in political science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French press and television. She married a Swede and now lives in London. She was the co-author of a bestseller, On se retrouvera, published by Fayard Noir in France, whose television adaptation drew over 7 million viewers in June 2015. Her debut, Block 46, became an international bestseller, with Keeper following suit. She is working on the next book in the Roy & Castells series.

Translator

Maxim Jakubowski is a crime, erotic, and science fiction writer and critic. Jakubowski was born in England by Russian-British and Polish parents, but raised in France. Jakubowski has also lived in Italy and has travelled extensively. Jakubowski edited the science fiction anthology Twenty Houses of the Zodiac in 1979 for the 37th World Science Fiction Convention (Seacon ’79) in Brighton. He also contributed a short story to that anthology. He has now published almost 100 books in a variety of areas.

He has worked in book publishing for many years, which he left to open the Murder One bookshop[1], the UK’s first specialist crime and mystery bookstore. He contributes to a variety of newspapers and magazines, and was for eight years the crime columnist for Time Out and, presently, since 2000, the crime reviewer for The Guardian. He is also the literary director of London’s Crime Scene Festival and a consultant for the International Mystery Film Festival, Noir in Fest, held annually in Courmayeur, Italy. He is one the leading editors in the crime and mystery and erotica field, in which he has published many major anthologies.

Online Reviews

If an epic novel that will blow your mind is what you want, then this is it … some of the sharpest writing, sharpest plotting and fall off your seat OMG moments I’ve read in a while! This book is very, very clever … This really has to be read with little understanding of the plot to fully appreciate the intricate plotting and deliciously dark twists and turns. It’s the kind of books you grimace at some scenes (graphic is not the word) and then rub your hands with glee at others – but you champion both for the way the words slap you in the face. This is an early review granted but it’s that good I couldn’t help myself. It’s out on kindle in Feb anyway and paperback in April. Devour this one!!’ The Book Trail

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‘Johana Gustawsson certainly isn’t afraid to tackle shocking issues and leave her readers reeling. She puts her ‘all’ into her books. Her gorgeous writing is amazing, immersive and addictive, and it’s hard to believe that this is a translation. I couldn’t stop reading, totally engrossed from the first page, as the book took me on a twisty rollercoaster ride … Be prepared for some graphic scenes that may make you wince or cringe, others that may make you smile and a few that may make you exclaim out loud. I know I’ll be raving about Keeper just as much as I raved about Block 46 last year. And I already expect this to be one of my top reads of 2018. Now I can’t wait to see how Johana Gustawsson will shock me with her next book’ Off the shelf Books

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‘Roy and Castells return in MÖR, which will be published as KEEPER in English in April. I read an advance copy of that book yesterday, and it’s a terrific page-turner, once again blending criminal investigations in London and Sweden with historic crimes – in this case Jack the Ripper. Gustawsson creates a great narrative drive, and delivers a tale that’s deliciously twisted, as well as twisting’ Johana is interviewed as a feature in the 9mm on Crime Watch

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Johana talks about her ‘writing toolkit’ to give an idea of her writing process through the tools she uses. Off the Shelf Books

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‘The story that unfolds is outrageously superb where I felt like I had been given a dot to dot picture without the numbers to join them up. You just know that when it all comes together it will be a masterpiece. Oh boy this is the second time I have been floored when I have finished reading this author’s books. Originally published in France the translation by Maxim Jakubowski is superb. This is a pretty special book! Just jaw dropping brilliance at its best!’ Books from Dusk Till Dawn

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‘The pacing is exquisitely crafted. Gustawsson strings tension all the way through, with the story moving at breakneck speed. There are enough twists and turns to make even the most die-hard thriller fan happy, as the story keeps changing all the way through to the end. Not only does the pacing keep you turning pages, but the multiple plot threads keep you fascinated. Gustawsson blends a plot involving one of history’s most notorious serial killers, the dysfunction of a family through generations, and a current, cat-and-mouse investigation into a kidnaping into one cohesive story that makes you desperate for answers … Pick up KEEPER to enjoy a fast-paced, well-constructed thriller that will be impossible to put down once you start’ The Crime Review

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‘Another literary twist on a tale here from the amazingly talented Johana Gustawsson … Keeper is instantly absorbing, intriguingly tangled and perfectly plotted, not for the faint hearted, the prose is hard hitting, emotional and graphic – once you are in you can’t get out … Immersive, intelligent, fascinating in it’s historical layers, Keeper is a proper page turner with a great big dose of heart and soul. As if that wasn’t enough the author pulled off a feat that is practically impossible these days – surprising me with an ending that I genuinely didn’t see coming. That, if nothing else, would have given Keeper my highly recommended tag and there was much much more in this book to enjoy than that. So what can I say? Highly Recommended’ Liz Loves Books

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Keeper entwines the present with the past which makes this book an addictive read. Just a warning Johana takes you to some dark places, and there are many many twist and turns but it is an addictive read. At times due to the large amount of characters, you have to stay alert to keep up, but what a book one that I would recommend to all’ The Secret World of a Blogger

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‘Once again, I found myself seriously impressed with how effortlessly the plot was weaved between the time periods. It is extremely hard to discuss this book without giving anything away but the twist at the end was mind-blowing! Actual jaw-dropping. I was, once again, left reeling by this novel! Who knew that I would love this French Noir genre so much?! Overall, I loved the follow up to Block 46 and Keeper had me up late into the night, devouring pages! I cannot wait to see what Gustawasson will come up with next! Highly, highly recommended’ Clues and Reviews

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‘I am not going to give any spoilers as to what happens next in Keeper as this is superb edge of your seat read that deserves to be read. I make no apologies in saying you are going to have to go and buy a copy and see for yourself. There are many twists and turns to keep you guessing. I am a big fan of Johana Gustawsson’s writing and cannot wait to see what we have coming next. Keeper I am delighted to highly recommend Keeper and this will be right up there come the end of the year in my best of the year books’ The Last Word Book Review

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‘ I don’t think I have ever read a book that shows evil people in the way that Johana does. They are people who make you cold and at times nauseous. I couldn’t even begin to think what else that might be capable of. Each time I thought I had solved it I was proven wrong and the ending was one of the bigger surprises I have had when reading a crime novel. A great follow-up, I was wondering how she would follow Block 46, because that book had a brilliant storyline but I wasn’t disappointed. Unique, compelling and it took over my life until I had finished it. First class crime fiction’ Stephs Book Blog 

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‘I am a little in love with Keeper, it is a phenomenally strong novel which interweaves many plots into an accomplished finished piece. Using real-life historical truths from Jack the Ripper’s murders makes the crimes even more horrific and we can feel the fear seeping from the pages … Characterisation is something that Gustawsson really excels in (along with her fantastic sense of place – I was terrified at one particular section) and I was fully connected to each and every person and their stories. This is one of my top reads of 2018 – flowing prose (expertly translated by Maxim Jakubowski), clever and sophisticated writing, a well developed plot, historical facts mixed with modern day fiction, characters who leap from the page and jaw-dropping moments.  If you haven’t read Block 46, please do then read Keeper, you won’t be disappointed’ Beverley Has Read

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‘Ms Gustawsson has managed to capture the darkness perfectly, the atmospheric nature of the read making it both uncomfortable and compelling in equal measure … I was hooked from the beginning and would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who loves their crime on the darker side. Beautifully lyrical language depicting murder most foul, but in a story which will stay with you long after you turn the final page for all the very best reasons, Loved it. So much so I’m giving it one of these – my Red Hot Reads’ Jen Meds Book Reviews

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‘I was well and truly shocked by the revelations towards the end of the book. And that denouement has booked this novel a place on my “favourite books of the year so far” list and I can’t see it straying too far away from there even though it’s still only April! I just LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! It’s clever, intelligent and breathtaking. And I forgot until the end that it was actually written in French and translated!! The translation by Maxim Jakubowski is so seamless that if you didn’t know it was a translation, you would have assumed that it had been written that way originally. A brilliant book that I highly recommend everyone reads! Did I mention that I LOVED IT?!’ My Chestnut Tree Reading

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‘Now after reading book two I am in awe of Johana. I’ve been lucky enough to meet her on several occasions now and she is the loveliest, warmest person ever! What goes on in that mind of hers? Haha total respect. This is an early review granted but it’s that good I couldn’t help myself. It’s out on kindle in Feb anyway and paperback in April. Devour this one!!’ The Book Trail

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‘There are scenes that some may find distressing, with no details spared. BUT if you have the stomach for it then might I add WHAT A READ. Keeper is evil personified. It is your worst nightmare. I mentioned in my review of Block 46 that Johana Gustawsson is a new voice in French Noir and she is. I’m not a fan of gore and gruesome books normally, so it is a complete testament to her writing that I keep coming back wanting more … Keeper is enthralling, gripping, compelling. It is disturbing, barbaric, savage. It is bloody brilliant’ Swirl & Thread

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‘Many authors attempt dual timelines and some manage to pull it off but there is NO ONE around that does it so seamlessly as Gustawsson does. Within these different periods of time there were several different subplots that were all intense and intriguing and once again, I struggled to figure out exactly how they would merge together … I’m always in awe of good writers, but she takes things to a whole new level of genius. There’s only so much I can say to try and covey just how amazing this book is so I’ll just finish up by saying if you’re looking for a fresh, bold crime fiction read, look no further. But read both book one and book two, it’s well worth it! Keeper in three words: Unflinching, Intelligent and Dark’

Novel Gossip

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‘I’m not in the least surprised at the writing and structure of Keeper as Gustawsson is articulate, bright and insightful. I wasn’t quite prepared for the colourful descriptions and some of the content in this book – it’s not for the faint hearted, but it does make for an extremely gripping and dark mystery. For me, there were echoes of Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, and I was impressed with Gustawsson’s use of the Jack the Ripper story. I have to say, I couldn’t put it down. As I have already said, Keeper was a hugely enjoyable and fascinating read but mainly it is so incredibly impressive. This is one immensely talented writer.  It will make you squirm, it will make your stomach turn, it will give you shivers, it will terrify you but it will also be one of the most well written books you come across this year’ Bibliomaniac

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Keeper takes place over two different centuries (1800s and 2000s) which can be considered confusing for some people but works well in this book. There were times that I was so shocked by what I was reading that I had to come back to reading about an hour later and I believe this is the type of impact that makes a book like this become one that you HAVE to continue reading it. Keeper is well written, twisted and gruesome!’ Rambling Lisa’s Book Reviews

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‘Gripping is a word that gets thrown about far too lightly these days, but I guarantee that you’ll agree with my verdict once you’ve read Keeper for yourself! … The international flavour of Gustawson’s novels is something that I’ve really grown to love and I can’t wait to read about their next twisted case.  Gustawson is skilled at making the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end and literally catch your breath as you re-read in horror what you’ve just been exposed to – and I can’t get enough of her writing. Keeper is a bit like my very favourite chocolate: dark with a very unique flavour, continental, sophisticated and extremely moreish. I’m an addict and I am really looking forward to seeing what dark pathways Roy and Castells lead me down in their next outing … if you like dark fiction, fabulous characterisation and a unique take on the way that past evils can spill into the present day then you’ll be an absolute convert’ On The Shelf Book Blog

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‘Without a doubt the author has created a dark and unsettling read, Johana Gustawsson has such a vivid and creative imagination she takes you to the darkest places, explores the most gruesome crimes and then brings all the elements together to create one of the best crime thrillers I’ve read this year. I really can’t wait to see where the twisted imagination of the new Queen Of French noir takes her readers next. Highly, highly recommended, and yes this compelling crime thriller will be on my top reads of 2018 without a shadow of a doubt. I’m sure it will come as no surprise to see I’m giving Keeper the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating’ The Book Review Café

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‘Strong characters, astonishing twists and really quite perfect.  There’s not a single thing I can think of that I didn’t like, and that’s saying something!  Totally gratifying, deliciously dark and WHAT a thrill-ride.  Yeah, I loved this one.  You really should read Keeper. Five out of five stars’ Damp Pebbles

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‘What was particularly impressive was Gustawsson’s ability to weave together two timelines, and two stories from 1800’s London to present day and the effortless way in which she switched between London and Sweden. I felt a huge sense of foreboding and horror as slowly I began to make connections, to see how it might end, what the conclusions would be. It is a long time since I have a read a book with so many twists and turns … It is a novel I will not forget in a hurry. It is a page turning and electrifying read that I absolutely loved and I cannot wait for the next installment of Roy and Castell’s’ My Bookish Blogspot

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‘I have to say I am quite fascinated with profilers so Emily’s side of the investigation was especially gripping stuff. Keeper is just a truly awesome read. It is dark and twisted and I absolutely loved every minute of it. This is one unputdownable, spine chilling read and an absolute must read for crime fans’

 By The Letter Book Reviews

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‘What I love about this book is all the different layered characters and the different places we get to visit within the book. We get to visit London we get to visit in Sweden amongst other things. I am very impressed with this novel and the writing. The writing has totally blown me away, besides me being very interested in anything having to do with Jack the Ripper. There is so much atmosphere in this book, it was very hard to put down for things like sleep and food. The story effortlessly connected with each the characters and the mentions of different situations from the past to the present from London to Sweden I was truly engaged from the moment I first opened the book till the last page at the end’

 Vanessa Turns Pages

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‘Gustawsson deftly weaves the stories together in her sticky web, crafting each strand so naturally that the characters come alive and you feel their pain. I was captivated by this book. It is a real triumph of Gustawsson’s writing that the gruesome details she offers are transcended by the skill of her prose and the excellent characterisation. I didn’t see the end coming, and it utterly floored me. By the time she had finished weaving her web, I was an enthralled captive ready to accept my fate’ Live and Deadly

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‘From the very first page the horror of the killings in both the past and the present enveloped me, by the end the horror still had me gripped and I began to think the writer couldn’t possibly shock me anymore. But, I didn’t see the twists and turns coming and was kept on the edge of my seat throughout. Not only did Gustawsson force me to rethink all I thought about the crimes and those that committed them, but also who is good and bad. The ‘villain’ is utterly immoral and thoroughly evil, but always fascinating. I can’t wait for the next thrilling segment in the Roy and Castells story, penned by an exciting and very talented writer’ Books are my Cwtches

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Keeper has the perfect blend of suspense, thrills and chills. Granted, I didn’t find the twist as jaw-dropping as in the previous book, but, jeez, Gustawsson knows how to spin a twist! Seeing all the puzzle pieces fall into place is what makes this novel so enjoyable. The way everything connects, not just the past and present, but how every aspect of the plot comes together, it’s so good, you just have to take a moment and reflect back on how good it is! A masterfully crafted novel. And, so much thanks to Maxim Jakubowski for providing the translation. When I read Block 46 last year, I said, if you only read one book I’ve recommended, make it that one; well, I’m saying the same thing this year – if you only read one book I’ve recommended this year, make it Keeper. Without a shadow of a doubt, the Roy and Castells series is one of my favourites, and I cannot wait for book three!’ Keeper of Pages

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‘The author has done a brilliant job on the book. Thumbs up to the translator as well. Maxim Jakubowski has translated the book in such a manner that it manages to retain its essence. Such a topic and description could not have been easy to translate, all the while maintaining its originality and quality. Both of them have done justice to the characters, descriptions, scenes, and imagery, so kudos to both of them’ Book Worldliness

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‘Gustawsson has a really great knack for setting out her pieces early in the game, setting different, seemingly unrelated, narratives in motion across disparate locations and time and slowly, methodically, expertly weaving them together in a compellingly complex and taught plot that’s massively addictive and, once again, thought provoking. Keeper is a superbly written novel with great characters, a brilliantly conceived and delivered plot and more than enough to keep you thinking and hooked. I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend’ Mumbling About

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Keeper is a twisty, thrilling, and captivating story which combines historical events with crime fiction that will satisfy fans of both crime fiction and history. Gustawsson has created a cast of lovable and relatable characters who are far from forgettable’ Murder and Moore

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‘The plotting of this book is really something else, I don’t even know where to begin and I don’t want to do Keeper a disservice by attempting to do so.  I will say that this is a book that will keep you on your toes and no matter how many times you think you’ve sussed it out, Gustawsson will completely render you speechless by the deft way that she weaves complex details together.  The characters are fantastically crafted, each appearing so real and multidimensional.  Their histories are so colourful and packed with such comprehensive detail that readers cannot help but become invested in them. I would highly recommend reading Keeper, and also Gustawsson’s previous thriller Block 46.  Both are equally brilliant and showcase the amazing skill of this author perfectly’ The Quiet Knitter

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‘Gustawsson was able to construct a story that spans not one lifetime but several generations, where evilness is passed through the DNA it might even seem at some point. Where does it end though, that’s the big question. The build-up was so good, it was so fascinating to follow the trail and anticipate that moment where the past would catch up with the present. Although I pride myself in being able to be rather quick in unmasking a villain, I really couldn’t make any sense of how it all fit together and whose shadow I was chasing. I can only say I was seriously blown away when I found out! She also delivered a twist in Keeper that was just impossible to anticipate for me but she made it happen, it so well done and unexpected, it was nothing else than jaw-dropping. I can highly recommend this novel to everyone and I can’t wait to see where she’ll take us next time!’ The Belgian Reviewer

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‘It is always interesting how Johana Gustawsson likes to connect their stories between the past and the present, in this case with the mysterious and deadly Jack the Reaper, with his victims it would seem that our present killer could have a similarity… but it will be Emily and Alexis the ones to try to unravel the web of killing and dark needs that this killer has left with the victims … I wouldn’t had chosen two better characters to investigate this case, even when is too personal for them, they are impersonal on the case and they just want to discover the truth. And even if their friendship would seem quite weird it works on this stories, they connect and make the cases direct and without flourishes, a delight to read (even if the case is as dark as this one!)’ Varietats

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Keeper is a relatively short novel, but this does not mean it’s an easy read. It did require a lot of my concentration as it switched between the different time frames, but the complexity of the plot made it all the more fascinating for me, as I tried to work out what had happened to Julianne and the connection to the events in the nineteeth century … As the novel reaches its climax, there are many twists and turns which kept me fascinated until the very end. Keeper is the second novel in the series featuring Emily Roy and Alexis Castells. I have not read the previous novel, Block 46, but I felt that this was not necessary to appreciate Keeper. (I will be going back to it though’ Portable Magic

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Keeper is a beautifully written book, which may seems at odds with the macabre subject matter but Johana Gustawsson uses the darkness to examine just what drives people to perpetuate the most evil of crimes … I was actually reminded of  Silence of the Lambs in that we actually see very little actual violence; the book is rendered psychologically disturbing through our own imaginations as we learn about the horror after it has taken place. If Block 46 announced Johana Gustawsson’s arrival to thriller lovers then Keeper cements her place as one of the most exciting and intelligent authors writing crime fiction today. The intricate linking of the multiple narratives, the fascinating character development and the shocking finale are complemented by the captivating prose … Keeper is a superb accomplishment and I cannot recommend it highly enough’ Hair Past a Freckle

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‘I can honestly say the author managed to pull the wool over my eyes and surprise me. Excellent plotting. I can just imagine the author sat there with a content and smug smile on her face thinking about the reactions of her readers. Gustawsson is honing her craft, and speeding towards the top at one hell of a speed. I was already impressed with Block 46 (Roy & Castells #1), but Keeper is an outstanding piece of crime fiction. A crime and psychological thriller par excellence. Keeper will shock, captivate and perhaps even perplex her readers. The uncomfortable ease with which the perpetrators fall prey to the brutality and deviant desires of such a complex psychological disorder, and the way said disorder is connected to a strange and yet strong emotional bond between them, is disturbing. Gustawsson has outdone herself. I dread to think what she will come up with next, and at the same time I can’t wait to read it’ Cheryll MM Book Blog

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‘If you love historical fiction mixed in with nordic noir and psychological thrillers… well you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t read these!  The characters are outstanding. Deeply dark and disturbing, some subject matter such as pedophilia, cannibalism and rape may deter some readers.  It only intrigues me more.  Gustawsson brings these to the pages in detail, but not in an overdone manner.  While there were a couple things that I THINK I had figured out and did go in that direction, she managed to blow me away with ALL the twists and turns.  Bear in mind, these aren’t throat punch twists.  They’re subtle, like little barbed clues that settle deep into your skin and just when you think you’ve got them out…. there goes another one.  Two words: SIMPLY BRILLIANT. ALL THE STARS!’ Where the Reader Grows

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‘The subject matter is not for the faint hearted and it may put you off your food a little, but at no point did I feel it crossed a line. If anything, I think Gustawsson got the balance just right, setting it apart from some of the run of the mill crime fiction that is out there today. Like it’s predecessor, Block 46, Keeper was a level above most other books I’ve read this year. There’s just something about them that have completely taken my breath away and placed them, quite comfortably, in my list of best reads of 2018 … I know most crime thrillers these days offer a twist to the tale but OMFG, this one was something a bit special (like …..WTAF!!). Anyway, enough from me, this book is superb and I’ll be shouting about it for the foreseeable future to anybody that will listen. Seriously folks, this is bloody good and you’ve gotta check it out!!’ Bookie Wookie

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WOW. This book is something else. I’ve not read anything quite like it. This is the first book I’ve read by Johanna Gustawsson but the first book I will be reading when I’ve finished my April blog tours will be Block 46. This book is absolutely outstanding. It seriously is. The story is told through dual storylines that although I thought I may struggle with, I soon found that I picked things up quickly and swept along with the absolutely enticing storyline … It pulls you in from the get go as you try to figure what could possibly link the separate storylines, with twist after twist. Just when you think you may have a slight inkling of maybe what is coming next, the author manages to completely send you another way leaving you in awe and also thinking how on earth she has managed to come up with this amazing storyline … The ending for me was what completely made this book a five star read – it completely got me and I didn’t see any of it coming. It was so well written throughout and is how a serial killer thriller should be written. Very excited for book three in this absolutely stellar series! Broadbeans Books

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‘The bad guys were suitably bad and again Johana Gustawsson doesn’t shy away from detailing the grimmer aspects of humanity – we’re reading crime right! The development of Roy and Castells and the revelation of more details of them personally was welcome and necessary for any fiction series.  Detective Olofsson, I found myself warming to, was he slightly less offensive I wonder or am I just getting used to him!  The introduction of trainee Alienor Lindbergh was superb, not only did her unique skills progress the case, but personally I felt this was an incredibly positive portrayal of someone with Aspergers Syndrome. I could go on, but suffice to say I liked this book immensely.  Personally reading the books in order I think gives a wider reading experience but isn’t essential’ I Loved Reading This

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‘I just have to mention how Gustawsson really manages to capture the historical true-life crimes and weaves them into a modern day crime novel, and is more than enough to keep you awake at night as it really did for me. A well thought out and plotted novel that deserves many plaudits and accolades. The characters of Castells and Roy we have met before in Block 46 and make a welcome return here along with some new characters that really add to the thriller. I am not going to give any spoilers as to what happens next in Keeper as this is superb edge of your seat read that deserves to be read. I make no apologies in saying you are going to have to go and buy a copy and see for yourself. There are many twists and turns to keep you guessing. I am a big fan of Johana Gustawsson’s writing and cannot wait to see what we have coming next. Keeper I am delighted to highly recommend Keeper and this will be right up there come the end of the year in my best of the year books’ The Last Word Book Review

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‘It’s a gripping story, I found for me there were times when it didn’t flow as well as others but it kept my attention throughout.  All the time I was wondering what was next, was there more to the 1888 connection, why were there murders in both London and Sweden.  I did have ideas about the conclusion and in part I was right but there was such an unexpected ending that this book really does deserve that much used phrase of ‘a twist you won’t see coming’. I really didn’t see that ending coming at all and am still dealing with the shock!’ Book Lover Worm Blog

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‘Johanna’s writing is outstanding and I was gripped from the first page. It is a crime thriller but the main characters are profiler Emily and true crime writer Alexis … Keeper is not for the faint hearted but you can guess that from the blurb. Any tale that features the history of Jack the Ripper isn’t going to be a walk in the park…more a lurk down a dark alley with a bloody ending! Once again the author mixes historical facts with fiction over two timelines and it works like magic. All the shiny stars for Keeper – félicitations Johana Gustawsson and Orenda Books!’ Bibliophile Book Club

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‘Once again Gustawsson weaves stories from the past into the story, sucking the reader into another world and wondering how on earth it connects to the present. I really like that the past also includes a true event, the holocaust last time and Jack The Ripper this time … Once I got into the story I really enjoyed reading Keeper, Gustawsson is a great author and I look forward to reading what she does next’

 If Only I Could Read Faster

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‘The plot… where to begin…. well its complex, it’s brutal and made me wince as I read. It takes in the various timelines and also various stories and I really don’t want to say anymore.  In fact that is all I am going to say id that the plot is a really strategic one and you have to read it to believe it … This is now the second book by this author I have read, and I can honestly say Johana is one of those authors whose books I would most probably buy without reading the synopsis. For me she is a must read author who shows an intense, deeply thought out and intricate way of telling her stories. If you like your crime to be full of darkness and your thrillers to be hard-hitting then you must definitely get a copy of this book. A definite HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me’ Me and My Books

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Keeper captured me in its vice-like grip from the first sentence. And as a huge HUGE fan of Block 46, the first in the Roy & Castells series, I was so excited to get stuck into the second book … The descriptions of fear, poverty and squalor of that time were incredible. She seamlessly ties the three plot strands together and keeps her readers locked down tight in her grip all the way through! Oh my goodness! Keeper is absolutely incredible. Keeper is a dark, bold, spine-chilling book that is the very definition of ‘gripping’! I loved it! Johana Gustawsson has delivered the next instalment in the Roy & Castells series with masterful attention to detail, shocking suspense and breath-taking twists! Dark. Bold. Thrilling’ Ronnie Turner

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‘Oh my goodness this book was fantastic!! I love anything Jack the Ripper related and I adore a good crime thriller and this has everything I look for in a book!! The characters were superb, the plot, pace, writing style, everything worked so well together it was a complete joy to read! I was hooked straight away and gripped right through to the end!! No hesitation at all in giving it 5 stars, blooming brilliant!!’ Donnas Book Blog

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‘It’s not my intention to give away the plot – quite frankly, everyone should read it – so, suffice it to say, Keeper is yet another fine example of modern crime fiction at it’s best. And, that’s not just in translation. Keeper is also a huge credit to the type of publishing that’s evolved in recent times, which allows such books and, indeed, much of the fiction found on indie publisher or small imprint lists, to reach more than niche audiences. Possibly even just a few years ago, this type of fiction would have been considered uncommercial and therefore unpublishable. It’s a time of shifting sands. And, thank god for that’ The Literary Shed

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‘What I can is how well written this book was. Well structured making the story easy to follow. Characters are well developed with good qualities as well as bad’ Seans Book Reviews

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‘This was another superb read that was absolutely gripping. From the outset you are drawn into a dark and disturbing world both of modern day serial killings and Victorian fear. I have always been fascinated by the Jack the Ripper story, the phantom killer whose crimes were never solved. Therefore I was utterly fascinated by these chapters … I love the fact that despite the majority of the book being very dark and seedy there were moments of humour that really lift the story. I cannot recommend this novel enough. It is both a fascinating story linking past and present, and a thought provoking read that will stay with you long after you have finished it’ A Crime Readers Blog

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‘The ending had me stunned when the reveal came… this is one of those very rare books where the twist was genuinely something I didn’t see coming! … Johana Gustawsson is such a brilliant writer; there were moments in this book that turned my stomach as the writing was so evocative that it gave me a visceral reaction … She takes her readers to the darkest sides of humanity and does it in such a way that you can’t look away even when it’s so dark and disturbing. Yet alongside this her writing is beautiful and so you simply can’t stop reading, even during the darkest parts. Keeper is a deeply disturbing and unflinching novel that will leave you feeling very unnerved but it’s an utterly brilliant read and I can’t recommend it highly enough! I’m now eagerly anticipating whatever Johana Gustawsson writes next!’ Rather too Fond of Books

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‘I have a fairly dark imagination but even I was unsettled at the ominous road this book started to go down. Yet despite the unsavoury subject matter, the author’s writing remains beautiful and eloquent.  Gustawsson’s descriptive prose had the sights, sounds and smells of poverty-stricken Victorian London leaping of the pages and engulfing me whole. Keeper is bold, and it’s brave, but at the same time manages to retain its authenticity.  Already I can’t wait for the next in the series and cannot recommend this book highly enough’ Feminisia Libros

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‘With meticulous plotting and great characterisation, Johana Gustawsson has written another book in her series featuring Emily Roy and Alexis Castells which defies you to read it. At times, it is very difficult to read with gruesome scenes which make you just want to look away. Normally, I would do just that. But in this case, so effortless is the quality of the writing, that I kept on reading …  It was dark and brutal but always measured against that was everyday life. I am delighted to hear that Johanna is writing a third installment. There is so much to understand about her characters and as we all know, it is the characters who drive home a great book. In short: Mesmerising murder in abundance’ Books Life & Everything

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‘I say the plotting is superb and the way that everything fits in together is as satisfying as completing a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. Dark, clever, tense, chilling and outstanding, I can’t recommend it enough. And that ending… blimey, I had to pick my jaw up from the floor!’ Emmas Bookish Corner

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‘We have strong female voices – Freda, Julianne the victim, and Emily Roy and Alexis Castells, an excellent double act for whom Keeper is a second outing. They are super creations, multi-layered and accessible … This is not a gentle read: it’s physically and psychologically violent and at times verges on horror. The twist at the end was nowhere near where I was expecting but I think it’s earned. This is a good yarn, told by someone who understands what makes a great story’ Café Thinking

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‘I’m intrigued by the whole Jack the Ripper era so for me Keeper had a real interest. Sometimes the crimes were quite uncomfortable to read about and if you’re squeamish it’s probably best you prepare yourself and line your stomach! The very first chapter was enough to turn my stomach, but I can honestly say it’s worth it and in a way adds to the story. This can definitely be read as a stand alone novel but if like me you haven’t read Block 46, I guarantee it will be on the top of your TBR pile’ Wrong Side of Forty

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‘I found that this book initially started as a slow burn (not in a bad way, I was immersed in the plot from the start!) but soon the pace is ramped up and doesn’t let go – I was desperate to find out who the killer was and what Jack the Ripper had to do with the modern-day events. Gustawsson has again created a very plausible storyline which is dark and twisted – a brilliantly complex plot that has twists and turns throughout. It’s no mean feat to manage dual timelines as well as two locations for the modern-day investigation! … A fantastic read – a massive 5 stars from me and highly recommended. Also, I know it’s only April, but this is going to be a top read for 2018 – LOVED it! Roll on book three’ Have Books Will Read

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‘Alexis is another character that I really like, and I have to say that her mother is an absolute star!  I’ll let you find out more about her when you read it, however. I’ve deliberately not gone into the plot in any detail, as I really think that the above synopsis tells you as much as you need to know going into the novel but like Block 46, this is a wonderfully dark and complex novel that will keep you guessing right to the end.  Highly recommended’ Jo’s Book Blog

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Bloody hell. Just, bloody hell. I’m not sure if I can properly describe how dark and twisted and unbelievably excellent KEEPER by Johana Gustawsson is but I will try my hardest to do it justice … This book is dark, uncomfortable, disturbing, and completely compelling in a ‘God I don’t want to look but I have to look, but I don’t want to look’ kind of way which shows the true brilliance of this author … The characters are complex and intriguing and this story certainly left me wanting more from this series. And that ending – MIND BLOWN!!!!!!!!! If you want a book that will suck you in and take over your mind then KEEPER by Johana Gustawsson is the crime thriller for you – a superb story that will haunt you for days after you turn the last page’ Books of All Kinds

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Keeper is intensely gripping, utterly addictive and a compelling page-turner like no other. The relatively short chapters urge you on to read just one more, and then another. Johana Gustawsson’s writing is razor sharp and the investigation will keep you on the edge of your seat, biting your nails, frantically trying to figure out the clues. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, the evil mastermind that is Johana Gustawsson (and really, she looks so sweet!) comes up with an absolutely fantastic conclusion that left me spinning as if I’d just gone on a rollercoaster about twenty times in a row.In short, I loved it and highly recommend you pick this one up!’ Novel Deelights

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Keeper is one of those books that you finish and you think OMG what actually have I just read! That kind where you slump back in the chair feeling a little bit broken, sad that it is over but overwhelmed that you got to experience it! I feel a little anxious about writing this review as I honestly do not think I can do justice to the brilliance that was this book! I certainly am not going to tell you anymore about the plot that is in the blurb for fear of giving away any spoilers … Three deliciously dark plots intertwine each of them challenging the reader to focus, to give their full attention to the narrative and to the characters. This attention will be rewarded tenfold as the plots unfold, twists and turns revealed and connections made until you reach an outstanding climax leaving your jaw firmly bouncing off the floor!’ Chapter in my Life

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‘All in all this is a complex, well plotted and credible crime novel, with a real punch at the end. It develops its central characters, of whom I hope we’ll soon see more, and brings (I hope) a new member to the regular team. And as ever Maxim Jakubowski’s translation keeps the story flowing along in English while leaving just a slight edge to the language, giving a hint, no more, of “outside looking in” – a bit of distance, of mystery’ Blue Book Balloon

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‘I liked the cast of characters present within Keeper especially Emily Roy and Aliénor Lindbergh (a smart intern with Asperger’s). They added no-nonsense charm to the chaotic narrative. I adore criminal profiling stories and JG has crafted a mighty one within Keeper. I also thought Alexis Castells’ story line was appropriate as it was laden with raw emotion and an impervious search for the truth that kept the momentum flowing even in the novels heavier sections. There are plenty of harsh tones and difficult themes explored such as cannibalism, sexual deviances, murder, betrayal and imprisonment but JG uses them all for maximum effect. Keeper is intense but it is an intriguing read that puts a reader’s intuition to the test. I can’t recommend Keeper enough and I am going to go back and read Block 46 in time for Johana Gustawsson’s next novel’ Always Trust in Books

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‘And having not read Gustawsson’s first Roy and Castell’s thriller, Block 46(something I intend to remedy in the very near future), I can also attest that the book loses absolutely nothing when read as a standalone – although you’ll probably want to pick up the first books as soon as you finish this one! Dark and disturbing but beautifully crafted, with mesmerising twists and turns and astute attention to detail, Keeper is a fast-paced read that will leave crime thriller fans breathless and gives noir fans a fantastic new voice from which to anticipate more’  The Shelf of Unread Books

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